Yangshuo Photography Workshop

The landscapes of the county of Yangshuo are legendary across all of China.

Jutting up from the earth like the upturned jaw of a shark, the famous karst mountains scrape the sky, creating breathtaking views which serve as a constant backdrop to any visit to Yangshuo.

Located near the city of Guilin, in southern China’s Guangxi Province, Yangshuo county is a perfect mix of dramatic landscapes and unique southern Chinese culture that will be the subject matter for this 6-day photographic exploration throughout the region.

During our time together we will explore the Li River which winds its way through the area, photograph traditional cormorant fishermen at sunset along the banks of the river, hike to the top of the karsts and rise at dawn to photograph the famous Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces.

Throughout this time you will be under the constant guidance of National Geographic Creative photographer and filmmaker, Sean Gallagher. Sean will mentor each participant, first by assessing their work at the beginning of the week, assigning them projects to focus on throughout their time in Yangshuo, culminating in a review and edit of their work which will be shown at the final evening’s slideshow and party. The workshop in limited to 6-12 students ** to ensure you receive ample tuition time with Sean.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of the schedule:

Day 1

Participants will make their way to Yangshuo where they will meet at the stunning Mountain Nest Boutique Hotel. Located in a rural village close to the Yulong River, the hotel will serve as our base for the week. In the evening we will dine together, look at participants’ portfolios and then Sean will host an evening slideshow in which he will share with you his work and offer inspiration for the week to come.

Day 2

We will rise early to begin our exploration of this fascinating area near the Yulong River. You will have the opportunity to explore local communities and begin documenting the traditional life that exists throughout the valleys between the karst mountains. In the afternoon we will have a unique opportunity to photograph the legendary cormorant fisherman of the Yulong River who use their trained birds to fish the local waterway. We will time our visit for sunset to capture this unique tradition under spectacular lighting.

Day 3

Rising early again, we will male our way before dawn to Xiangong Hill, to witness one of the most famous views in all of China. Positioned high above the karsts, we will lead to you to the best spot in the region to get the quintessential view of the Li River and karsts mountains (if you have a Chinese 20RMB banknote, look at the back for the preview of this dramatic location). In the afternoon we will drive to the famed Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, one of China’s best known cultural heritage sites. Spectacular at any time of year, we will time our visit to coincide with the planting season. This will offer us a chance to photograph this unique part of culture in the area.

Impressions Light Show

Impressions Light Show

Day 4

We’ll continue our exploration and documentation of life amongst the rice terraces in the morning and then travel back to Yangshuo in the afternoon, stopping at our discretion to photograph daily life along the way. In the evening we will attend the unmissable ‘Impressions Light Show’, a visually spectacular theatrical performance played out on the water with the karsts lit up in the background.

Day 5

This will be the last opportunity to photograph traditional life in the area and capture any missed scenes from throughout the week. In the early afternoon, Sean will help workshop participants edit their work to their best images for the evening’s slide show and party where their work will be screened at the Mountain Nest’s rooftop bar at sunset. A fitting end to the week.

Day 6

Participants will share one last breakfast with one another and then say goodbye to Yangshuo, making their way to their next destination.

Extra Details

Payment – To secure your place on the workshop, a 25% deposit is required. This is refundable up to one month before the beginning of the workshop in case your plans change. We cannot offer refunds after this date. The full remainder of the fee is due two weeks before the beginning of the workshop.

* Included – Accommodation (5 nights – Jun 8/9/10/11/12) in Yangshuo / Set Menu – breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, from evening dinner on 8th June through to breakfast of 13th June / Local ground transport to and from shoot locations / Entrance tickets to selected locations / Photography tuition from Sean Gallagher

Not Included – Travel to Yangshuo (Flights, train etc.) / Health Insurance (Please take out adequate cover for the entirety of your stay) / Drinks and personal expenses / Extra food on top of set menus/ Extra independent local transport / Visa Fees.

** The organisers of the workshop reserve the right to cancel if the minimum number of 6 participants is not met. In this instance, all deposits/payments towards the workshop fee will be refunded in full to participants. Any other expenses paid by participants in association with attending the workshop (flights, trains, equipment, visa fees, insurance etc.) cannot be claimed for refund and are paid/booked at the participants’ own risk. Payment of the workshop deposit will be deemed as acceptance of these terms.

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